Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty-four research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $30.06.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Pivotal Research downgraded Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $30.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Monday, June 25th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Kroger from $26.50 to $28.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Kroger from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Northcoast Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, September 13th.

KR stock traded up $0.13 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $29.39. 5,775,700 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,633,881. Kroger has a 12 month low of $19.69 and a 12 month high of $32.74. The company has a market cap of $23.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.41, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.26.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.03. Kroger had a return on equity of 28.05% and a net margin of 3.05%. The company had revenue of $27.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.95 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.39 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Kroger will post 2.11 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.91%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.45%.

In other news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.76, for a total value of $115,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 29,361 shares in the company, valued at $844,422.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 13,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.43, for a total value of $369,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 101,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,876,291.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 42,314 shares of company stock valued at $1,218,736. Corporate insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in KR. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Kroger by 2.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 65,465,026 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,862,480,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490,831 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its position in Kroger by 6.1% during the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 15,856,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $451,120,000 after acquiring an additional 907,367 shares in the last quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC raised its position in Kroger by 7.2% during the first quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 10,367,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,210,000 after acquiring an additional 696,119 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Kroger by 1.4% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,533,613 shares of the company’s stock valued at $242,781,000 after acquiring an additional 119,262 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its position in Kroger by 12.4% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 7,621,037 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,820,000 after acquiring an additional 842,386 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.68% of the company’s stock.

About Kroger

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.

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Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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